Ursa Minor, WYATT, Josh Elkes, Johnny Lewis

Ursa Minor

New York Times- "Tough and loose, totally incubated... one of the most flexibly rugged rock rhythm sections in New York"

Time Out New York- “One we keep coming back to, finding something new each time.”

Village Voice- "Storm cloud through a picture window"

Fronted and founded by New York singer/writer Michelle Casillas, Ursa Minor has become a mainstay in NYC’s indie rock scene. “Ursa Minor blurs the line between folk, jazz, and experimental music...with haunting, spare, even cinematic songs.”-All Music Guide. Splendid Magazine calls their songs “warm works of natural beauty…appealingly tousled” and the Village Voice cites their sound as “ethereal yet concise… wrought with enunciated keens and alto murmurs, moody drum snaps and strong melodies.”

Ursa Minor’s debut LP “Silent Moving Picture” was released by Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, on Smells like Records; a label known both for championing new artists (like Cat Power and Blonde Redhead), and for releasing comprehensive series of works by Lee Hazelwood, and Sonic Youth.

On Ursa Minor's new release, "Showface", Michelle has swapped Fender Rhodes for electric guitar, and her singing is all the more startling and bold. “Casillas [wields] a sensuously fragile inflexion and phrasing… lilting from yearning highs to crooning lows almost instantaneously.” -Movment Magazine.

Bassist Rob Jost (Imogen Heap, Wayne Horvitz, Bjork) and drummer Robert DiPietro (Norah Jones, Jesse Harris, Josh Rouse) equally create the sound, contribute songs, and sing harmony, while the infamous Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell, Sexmob, Feist, Lounge Lizards) brings the lightning with his electric guitars.

WYATT

"Oh, Wyatt. Wyatt is cool. Wyatt is like this guy who has magical powers, but is totally comfortable with it. And also he is a good dresser, and dances amazingly well."

So says a newly indoctrinated fan. WYATT is (also) the new project of celebrated NYC singer/songwriter Maddy Wyatt. What began as the solo effort of Miss Wyatt has morphed into a collaborative adventure with brothers Paul and Alex Wyatt, bassist Zach Lane, and keyboardist Dana Haynes. Since the release of their debut EP last summer, WYATT has toured all over the Southwest, played festivals from SXSW to CMJ, and earned kudos from the likes of NYC's The Deli Magazine, The L.A. Examiner, and TimeOutNewYork, who says "their lack of pretension and simple melodies are reminiscent of Mirah." WYATT aims to make you move your bod and sing along. The songs on this EP are the closest yet they've come. Vive la WYATT!

Josh Elkes

Ascendant New York singer/songwriter Josh Elkes’ intimate stories of loss and redemption go beyond the twenty-one year old's young-songwriter's years and recall at times the classic work of Leonard Cohen, Wilco, Bright Eyes and others, and features an array of heartfelt, personal emotion including heartbreak, forgiveness, and hope.

His self-titled debut EP released on Tuesday, March 19th, was produced and mixed by Grammy Award winning producer/mixer Neil Dorfsman (credits include Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms, Bruce Springsteen’s The River) and Clifford Carter (James Taylor, Art Garfunkel), along with Elkes. The recording was mixed at Saint Claire Recording Studio in Lexington, KY and mastered by another Grammy winner, Ted Jensen, at Sterling Sound in New York. Along with his songwriting, Elkes provides guitar and vocals for the EP and is backed by Carter on piano, drummer Joe Bonadio (Roseanne Cash, Sting, Marc Cohn), guitarist / multi-instrumentalist Duke Levine (J Geils Band, Shawn Colvin), electric bassist Whynot Jansfeld (The Weepies, Gavin DeGraw), and upright bassist Richard Hammond (Marc Copley, East Village Opera Company).

Elkes performs regularly in and around New York City, most recently completing a four-month residency at The Living Room in Manhattan. His live performances feature Clifford Carter on piano, and Joe Bonadio on drums/percussion.

Johnny Lewis

Johnny Lewis' musical background is not that of the ordinary new-age Folk Artist. Stemming from Minneapolis, MN, Lewis moved to Colorado in 2008 to pursuit electronic production for a number of touring acts including The Larva Ink, The Chalice, Bokonon and many more. Accepted into the festival community, Lewis opened extensively for national acts ranging fromThe Flaming Lips to Trampled by Turtles. After much success with touring electronic acts, Lewis came to terms with his obsession for acoustic music, which in turn, drove him away from production and into his passion - writing songs. Johnny Lewis melds the timeless north-country sound of acoustic guitar with sophisticated, colorful lyrics; attempting to the replant the poetic verse into a timeless songwriting style for a new generation of listeners. Johnny Lewis now resides in New York City.

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Ursa Minor, WYATT, Josh Elkes, Johnny Lewis

Thursday, June 27 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at Spike Hill

Free